How Are Costs For Sports Or Other Extracurricular Activities Handled After A Divorce?
Costs For Extracurricular Activities After Divorce
In this video Patrick Copley very briefly discusses the issue of extracurricular activities and how those are dealt with in the Kansas Child Support Guidelines. There has been a change in the last couple of years on this issue. Now if you have not been through this, this might sound tedious and ridiculous and maybe it is, but I do know that I have spent a lot of time with clients and opposing counsel arguing, determining, trying to hash out which spouse is going to pay for extracurricular activities for the parties’ children.
There has been a recent change on this issue. It used to be, up until about 2015, that the courts, specifically Johnson County Kansas, treated differently recreational sports versus club sports. Every case is treated on its own merits, I just want to make that point. But as a general rule, recreational sports were dealt with as a direct expense. So, if you were the spouse receiving child support you would be paying that direct expense to the coach or the league, or whomever. If it was a club sport, (a child that was in a travel team for soccer, basketball, swimming, lacrosse) that would be dealt with as an extraordinary expense. We call that a Section E adjustment on the child support worksheet. It would increase the amount to be paid by the spouse who is paying child support. That would increase the monthly amount or be taken off the worksheet all together, and be paid for either on a 50/50 basis or a pro rata basis to the coach or league, whoever it would be.
Club sports were dealt with usually off the worksheet or as a Section E adjustments. Recreational sports were dealt with as a normal, run of the mill direct expenses like a school expense or something along those lines to be paid for by the ex-spouse that was receiving the child support. Things have changed. Today, things are dealt with, in regards to extracurricular activities, it has changed in that even club sports are treated as direct expenses. Directly from the guidelines: “Direct expenses for a child shall include those fixed expenses paid directly to a third party, such as a school, church, recreational, club, or sports club to allow participant in an activity or event or to attend school. Direct expenses also include all necessary supplies and equipment purchased to support such activity.” So, right there in the definition of direct expenses is sports clubs. I am not on a child support committee. I’ve talked to members of it though and the reason they feel comfortable doing this is that the schedules for the monthly child support amounts has increased. According to the folks I’ve spoken with, this is baked into the formula. You have an uphill battle if you are an ex-spouse or an individual receiving child support through a paternity action. It is a little bit more of an uphill battle now to get these club sports dealt with either off the worksheet or treat it as an extraordinary expense. Perhaps that may be bad news to you or you’re the individual paying and think that you shouldn’t be paying maybe that is good news to you.
If you have any questions with regards to Child support and extra-curricular activities please feel free to contact my office for a free consulation.
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